On Tuesday night, Louisiana police shot and killed 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis after opening fire on the fleeing vehicle he was riding in, AP reports.
Mardis' father, identified as Chris Few, was driving the car and was also reportedly shot and critically wounded. Avoyelles Parish Coroner Dr. LJ Mayeux said Mardis died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head and chest.
Few reportedly fled from police after they attempted to serve him with a warrant. The police allegedly opened fire when Few reached a dead end and began backing up.
HE HAS A NAME: Jeremy Mardis (age 6) killed after police shot his dad's car as he fled cops trying to issue warrant pic.twitter.com/WO6KElAYOa — Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) November 5, 2015
According to the New York Daily News, Mardis is the youngest person killed in a shooting involving American police in years. Mardis was a first grader at Lafarue Elementary School in Effie, Louisiana.
It's not clear what type of warrant police were attempting to serve to Few. But, the larger question is whether opening fire on the vehicle Few and his son were traveling in was necessary.
Simply put, it's clear Mardis was killed by accident, but could this tragic incident have been avoided?
As The Guardian notes, in most cases it's against federal guidelines for police to shoot at moving vehicles because it's proven to be ineffective in terms of stopping oncoming vehicles. Not to mention, it can lead to the deaths of innocents.
In other words, it's counterintuitive and irresponsible for police to shoot at cars in most situations. What happened to Mardis was arguably preventable.
At present, we don't have all of the details surrounding the incident that led to Mardis' death, but we can all agree he died far too young. He's also a particularly unsettling reminder that US police have killed 964 people so far this year, according to The Counted.
Citations: Boy killed after city marshals shoot at vehicle (AP), Moving Targets (The Guardian), If police stopped shooting at moving vehicles a 6 year old could still be alive (NY Daily News), The Counted (The Guardian)